All days 09:00 – 18:00
Five thousand years ago, a man stood in front of the rock. He holds a sharp stone that fits well in his hand. On the rock he has engraved the silhouette of a moose. Then he begins the painstaking work of drawing the lines deeper into the rock. The moose he carving is a calf, which turns its head towards a larger moose.
The rock carver lives, like the rest of his people, by hunting and fishing. It’s stone age. Figures all over the world in these times are carved and painted figures in caves and mountains. For thousands of years, rock art has stood there on the mountain walls, as tangible traces of the Stone Age people, our ancestors.
Maybe they carved these moose figures in the rock to give them power over the animals, and give them good hunting luck? Or maybe the figures were made by shamans who would wear animal skin (skin-walker) to make ritual journeys to the spirit world? Or perhaps the petroglyphs were a backdrop for the theater of the time, where stories were handed down from old to young around the campfire?
The petroglyphs here were discovered in 1977 by the student Trond Strømgren from Trondheim. They are located where there is the shortest way across the Trondheimsfjord from the Fosen Peninsula to Byneset. This place may have been a meeting place for hunters from both sides of the fjord.
We know little about why they carved these figures, and what they meant. Written language did not exist, so we have no testimony from their social life and world of thought. The only clues we have are the tools that archaeologists uncover, and the enigmatic rock carvings.
They probably played an important role in the social life of the hunters. They can be records of myths about the first people who settled on the site, or they can mark sacred places where special rituals took place, for example at the transition from child to adult. Previously, it was thought that they had a hunting magic function.
The petroglyphs consist of five figures. Four represent moose. The fifth can not be species determined. The largest figure consists only of a head and two legs and has hardly ever been made ready. One of the animals has a bent back, which is very rare. The figures are carved into the rock using simple stone tools sometime in the early Stone Age, probably 5000 – 6000 years ago. They were made at a time when the people of Trøndelag still lived by fishing and hunting in addition to collecting shells, plants and roots.
Moose and other deer are the most common motif on all carvings from the Stone Age in Central Norway. They are found on rock surfaces from Norway in the west to the far east in Siberia. Equal motives and equal ways of expressing themselves indicate that people were in contact with each other over this vast area in the Stone Age.
All days 09:00 – 18:00